Need a CPAP cleaner like SoClean or Lumin?


Despite the widespread publicity, is there any evidence that you need CPAP cleaners or disinfectants like SoClean or Lumin to reduce the risk of infections when you use CPAP therapy for treatment apnea in a dream? Analyze CPAP cleaner goals, costs, potential benefits, and potential risks.

Andrei Popov / Getty Images

Keeping CPAP equipment clean

Manufacturers, providers, and sleep doctors recommend regularly cleaning equipment to maintain a constant positive airway pressure (CPAP). The mask, tube and water chamber should be cleaned daily (or at least weekly) with liquid dish soap and hot water.

In addition, the device filter should be replaced every 2-4 weeks. Distilled water designed for use in the water chamber to reduce risk.

This standard of cleanliness can be an ideal that not everyone meets. Some patients never clean their equipment. This can lead to significant problems including:

  • Minerals can accumulate in the water chamber.
  • The mask can build up mucus.
  • Germs can be found in the tube.
  • Mold can grow in humid environments.
  • There may be bad smells.
  • The equipment may seem unhygienic.

Potential risks associated with impure equipment may also be direct exposure to bacteria, viruses, and mold. This can increase the chance of unpleasant colds, sinus infections, and even pneumonia. But are these infections really more common among CPAP users? Can CPAP really make you sick?

Research Shows That Risks Are Minimal

CPAP has been around for over 35 years. Millions of people enjoy therapy every night. The risk of getting an infection from CPAP equipment seems very small. There is very little research on this relationship.

A 2017 study involving 137 patients found no differences between CPAP users and non-CPAP users with respect to upper respiratory tract infections and pneumonia. The use of CPAP, the choice of mask or the use of a humidifier had no effect on the prevalence of infections or the type of microorganisms isolated from nasal smears, masks and humidifiers.

An earlier 2012 study found that CPAP treatment reduces inflammation and mucus production in the nose, which could reduce congestion and the risk of infection.

An earlier study conducted in 2001 showed an increase in self-reported upper respiratory tract infections, but the disadvantages of this study were that it was retrospective (required patients to remember previous infections) and only 17% used a warm air humidifier, an accessory that is currently the current standard of care. Regular cleaning seemed to be an important way to reduce the potential risk of infections.

CPAP cleaning and disinfection options

Most professionals recommend cleaning CPAP equipment with liquid dishwashing soap and hot water. In some cases, vinegar diluted with water is used instead. This was sufficient to prevent widespread respiratory infections associated with CPAP use for decades.

However, companies have taken advantage of fears in recent years and created a niche market for cleaners and disinfectants. What are the costs, benefits and risks of these devices?

Sokle 2

Advantage: According to controlled laboratory tests, the device kills 99.9 percent of the bacteria found in CPAP masks, tubes and water tanks. It does this by feeding the ozone in an airtight container and from the mask through the tube to the internal chambers of the CPAP device.

It is not necessary to disassemble the mask: it is placed directly in the container and the tube passes through the side opening. There is also a smaller travel version, So Clean 2 Go, which is powered by 8 AA batteries.

Risk: The residual smell of ozone can be unpleasant and dangerous. Exposure to ozone is potentially dangerous for people with respiratory diseases. Federal law describes it as”a toxic gas that has no known useful medical use.”

The environmental protection agency claims that relatively small amounts of ozone can cause shortness of breath and aggravate chronic respiratory disease. In fact, ironically, the impact of this can compromise the body’s ability to fight respiratory infections.

Cost: $ 398. Annual spare parts: $ 30 (cartridge filter set)


Advantage: Promising to kill 99 percent of bacteria with ULTRAVIOLET light, the device has a removable drawer in which a mask or water chamber can be placed to clean. It works quickly, providing a dose of disinfectant light in just 5 minutes. It can also be used to clean dentures, hearing aids and toothbrushes.

Risk: Using the device may also cause an unpleasant odor inside the equipment, but may not cause any damage. There is no direct exposure to ULTRAVIOLET radiation, so the risks associated with it (such as skin cancer or eye damage) are irrelevant. Unfortunately, it only cleans surfaces directly exposed to light.

Opaque materials can affect cleaning efficiency. It is not designed to clean CPAP tubes, and it is planned to release a separate device for this cleaning task. In theory, it is possible that ULTRAVIOLET radiation can accelerate the normal aging of CPAP plastics.

Cost: $ 249. Annual spare parts: Miss

Should I buy a CPAP disinfectant?

Ultimately, available cleaners and disinfectants are CPAP it seems unlikely to provide additional cleaning capability beyond standard soap and water cleaning methods. There is no evidence that these devices reduce risk infection.

These companies also have no financial interest in exploring this possibility. The devices sell well without such research. This can say a lot about the motivation behind the recent promotion of the product directly to the consumer, beyond the science behind its use.

Effective February 1, 2020, ResMed indicated that ozone damage would void the CPAP manufacturer’s warranty. Therefore, it is recommended that SoClean not be used with ResMed CPAP machines.

A Few Words From Get Meds Info

Other studies may be helpful in determining whether these devices play any role in conventional CPAP therapy. The risk of infection is so small and the evidence of benefit is so weak that these devices are currently not recommended. Save your money and instead buy a lifetime supply of liquid dishwashing soap.

Disclosure: Product samples provided for review purposes.

Frequently asked questions

  • For clean CPAP. you can soak the face mask, removable hoses and connectors in the sink with soapy water. Parts can be hung to air dry. Clean the humidifier water chamber as directed in the owner’s manual. For filters, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on whether they should be replaced or whether they can be rinsed.

  • For clean CPAP. you can soak the face mask, removable hoses and connectors in the sink with soapy water. Parts can be hung to air dry. Clean the humidifier water chamber as directed in the owner’s manual. For filters, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on whether they should be replaced or whether they can be rinsed.

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